Sun to Switch Symbol to JAVA

The company looks to push its programming software brand.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- College is out, and Java is in at

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

.

The Santa Clara, Calif., computer company announced Thursday that it will change its long-time

Nasdaq

ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA, effective Monday.

The company said it's making the change to capitalize on the brand-awareness of its Java software and to better reflect the company's current strategy.

Java is a computer programming language that allows Internet applications to run on a broad range of electronic devices, from cell phones to servers. The technology was developed internally at Sun and was publicly introduced in 1995 in the early days of the commercialization of the World Wide Web.

"Java is a technology whose value is near infinite to the Internet, and a brand that's inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability)," Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz wrote on his blog Thursday.

While Sun says it generates licensing revenue from Java, it contends that Java's real significance are the sales of computer servers, storage and software that are necessary for companies to create products and services based on Java.

The company's current ticker SUNW stands for Stanford University Network Workstation, a reference to the first computer built by Sun's founders while graduate students at the school.

"We are no longer simply a workstation company, nor a company whose products can be limited by one category -- and Java does a better job of capturing exactly that sentiment than any other four letter symbol," wrote Schwartz.

Shares of Sun were up a penny at $4.87 in midday trading Thursday.